What is Diplontic Life Cycle?

Diplontic life cycle refers to the life cycle of organisms, which is dominated by the diploid stage. Plants and algae show alternation of generation. All the plants showing sexual reproduction alternate between two multicellular stages, viz. Haploid gametophyte and diploid sporophytes.

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In the diplontic life cycle, the diploid stage or sporophyte is the dominant and independent stage of the plant and performs photosynthesis. The haploid phase is represented by single-cell gametes or few celled gametophytes.

Here mitosis usually occurs at the diploid stage, i.e. zygote and gametes are produced by meiosis.

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Diplontic Life Cycle Examples

The Diplontic life cycle is shown by some algae and all the phanerogams or seed-bearing plants.

Brown algae Fucus has a diplontic life cycle. The main plant body is thallus, which is diploid. The haploid phase is represented by oogonia and antheridia, which are formed by meiosis in reproductive cells present in the conceptacles. Oogonia and antheridia produce egg and sperm respectively, which fuse to form a diploid zygote. The zygote (2n) divides mitotically to form thallus. Other algae which show the diplontic life cycle are green algae Cladophora and Acetabularia, diatoms, etc.

All the seed-bearing plants, i.e. Gymnosperms and Angiosperms show the diplontic life cycle.

Types of Biological Life Cycle

In plants, both haploid and diploid cells can divide mitotically and proliferate to produce gametophyte (n) and sporophyte (2n), respectively. Plants that undergo sexual reproduction, alternate between the haploid and diploid stages. This is known as alternation of generations.

Based on the dominant stage of their life cycle, they are categorized into three types:

  1. Haplontic Life Cycle – The dominant stage is the haploid gametophyte. The diploid sporophyte is only represented by the zygote, which is diploid. The zygote divides meiotically to form haploid cells, which undergo mitosis to form multicellular haploid organisms. Diploid stage is not free-living. Examples for haplontic life cycle: Green algae, e.g. Volvox, Spirogyra, Chlamydomonas, etc.
  2. Diplontic Life Cycle – The diploid sporophyte is the dominant stage. It shows gametic meiosis. Examples for diplontic life cycle: Brown algae Fucus, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms, etc.
  3. Haplodiplontic Life Cycle – Here both haploid and diploid stages are multicellular. In some, the gametophyte is dominant and free-living and the sporophyte is a small and short-lived phase, which is dependent on gametophytes, e.g. Bryophytes.

In pteridophytes, the sporophyte is the independent and free-living dominant stage. It alternates with short-lived gametophyte.

Some algae such as Ulva, Polysiphonia, Ectocarpus, Kelps have a haplodiplontic life cycle.

Also Explore:

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Difference Between Diplontic and Haplontic Life Cycle

Diplontic Life Cycle Haplontic Life Cycle
Sporophyte (2n)
Dominant phase, which is independent, free-living and performs photosynthesis Conspicuous and represented by Zygote or few celled sporophytes
Gametophyte (n)
Conspicuous and represented by gametes, i.e. egg cell and sperm or few-celled gametophyte Dominant phase, which is independent, free-living and performs photosynthesis
Mitotic Division
The zygote divides mitotically to give rise to a new plant. Haploid cells divide mitotically to produce new plants.
Meiosis Division
Gametes are produced by meiosis division. The zygote divides meiotically to form haploid cells, which proliferate by mitosis.
Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, some algae such as Fucus, Cladophora, etc. Most of the algae such as Volvox, Spirogyra, etc.

This was all about Diplontic Life Cycle. Explore notes on Plant Kingdom and other important concepts related to NEET, only at BYJU’S.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Which plants show diplontic life cycle?

All seed-bearing plants, the gymnosperms and angiosperms show a diplontic life cycle. Whereas bryophytes and most green algae show haplontic life cycle.


What kind of life cycle do algae have?

The three types of the biological life cycle are haplontic, diplontic and haplodiplontic life cycle. The brown algae Fucus shows a diplontic life cycle. The haplontic life cycle is seen in most green algae. Some algae such as Ulva, Polysiphonia, Ectocarpus, Kelps have a haplodiplontic life cycle.

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